Happy Rubber Eraser Day!


Today is April 15th. Most people today will focus on their taxes and deadlines. They will stress over complicated tax forms, break out the calculator that they haven’t used since last year, and they will try to get that postmark before midnight.

Now most people have abandoned the pencil for doing their taxes. Most are done online now, but erasers used to be a huge part of tax day. I remember seeing my Mom doing her taxes when I was little – she always did them in pencil first – the eraser shavings migrating all over the house for days. The smell of burning rubber as she furiously erased her math mistakes flowed through the house like the smell of apple pie on the 4th of July.

No more is the eraser a dominant part of tax day. Like many other things in our world, technology has left the poor eraser by the wayside to be replaced by the “backspace” key. We must never forget that the eraser led the way for the backspace and delete keys. The eraser was a pioneer! The eraser saved paper! The eraser allowed for some sort of satisfaction when you could manage to remove your mistakes without having to completely start over.

Did you know that the pencil with the eraser on top was invented in Philadelphia?

In the world of erasers, two men are prominent. Joseph Priestley discovered the eraser in 1770, using pieces of rubber imported from Brazil. Then in 1858, Hyman Lipman of Philadelphia, Pa., patented the pencil with an eraser at the end. (Source: http://www.holidayinsights.com/other/rubbereraserday.htm)

I will keep today’s post short because I know many of you are sitting in front of your computer doing your taxes, but as you save your revisions to your desktop – remember that once upon a time, the eraser was second only to the calculator on tax day.

Happy Rubber Eraser Day! Now go do your taxes. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Happy Rubber Eraser Day!

  1. Ha! And we both wrote about taxes on tax day. I still do mine with pencil and eraser and send it in via snail-mail. I refuse to pay for software or an accountant – I don’t think it’s fair to pay just to figure out what you’re supposed to pay – and I don’t like the online IRS filing system going through a third-party contractor. Grr.

    • Great minds think alike! 🙂 I am poor and had no income this year so I didn’t even have to do taxes. I would much rather have money though! The IRS free filing system has always worked for me (I used to work for the IRS) so even though it’s third party (because Intuit lobbied congress to stop the IRS from allowing taxpayers to file through the IRS for free) those third parties found on http://www.irs.gov are legit. Turbo Tax however is a clever scam that gets millions every year. Don’t even get me started really. LOL

  2. “because Intuit lobbied congress to stop the IRS from allowing taxpayers to file through the IRS for free” … Gaaaahhhh! Having worked in DC for some years, I am well aware that contractors are FAR more expensive than GS employees. If you need some specialized expertise short-term, or a surge of employees short-term… fine. But WTF? The IRS is the expert on taxes (I would hope). There is NO reason not to let taxpayers file directly to the IRS. Goddang lobbyists!! No, wait: Goddang Congress!!

    Just one more good reason for me to keep doing my paper returns: they DO go directly to the IRS!

    • Wanna get me started on the hiring freeze for Revenue Officer and Revenue Agents who are the ONLY government employees that actually CONTRIBUTE to the revenue of the U.S. A revenue officer/agent will make more in a day than it costs to employ them. Yeah. The IRS is a touchy subject for me – hence why I focused on erasers instead. 🙂

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